02
Feb
2009

How to make a transparent background in an image

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gimpOne of the things I was struggling with some time ago, was how to make a transparent background for certain images I use on Web Talk.  As far as I knew, there were not specific tools which just change a  selected  color to transparency to allow the use of certain images with any situations and with any colors you wish. Transparent background was an obsession of mine and at the time I was more than sure that such a feature was only available in expensive software.  Anyway all this  changed when, a few days ago, I discovered that a nice, powerful and freeware software I have on my desktop computer, does this job in a couple of steps.

The first thing you have to do is  download the excellent freeware image manipulator called Gimp.

  1. Open the image you want to modify with Gimp.
  2. Right-click on the image, go to Layer and select Add Alpha Channel. Don’t worry if nothing happens. Actually, nothing has to happen, since by selecting such an option you just add a transparent effect to the background of your image.
  3. Right-click on the image, from the menu choose Select and from its submenu click By Color.
  4. Right after that go to the image again, and click on the color you want to be transparent. Do you see any outlined effect around the color you just selected? Good!
  5. Now right-click on the image and from the menu select Edit and Clear. Click on the color you want to be transparent.
  6. For the last time, right-click on the image, choose Save As, and save it  as a GIF file.
  7. Done! Your modified picture will now be able to “acquire” as a background any color you want, dependently from the color of the area you place the picture in.



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